Structured Settlements are periodic payments made by an insurance company following an accident or injury. Many choose trading these payments in return for a one off lump sum payment. This is a straightforward transaction; however, there are numerous factors that go into selling structured settlements. It is important therefore to familiarize yourself with the steps needed to sell your settlement in order to guarantee you agree on the best deal for your financial circumstances.
What is the value of your settlement?
In order to make sure you get the best deal for your money, you need to ensure you know the exact face value of your settlement. There are two ways of calculating this; consulting a financial adviser who will calculate both its value, and the amount on inflation that will incur from the date you meet until the date the final payment of your settlement is paid. This will cost you but the results will be 100% accurate. If you are strapped for cash, you can use a current value calculator which can be found online. You will need to input certain information, and make certain that it is correct. Through using the online calculator you will be able to view the current value.
Which company to use?
A thorough investigation should take place when choosing which companies to get a quotation from. To begin with it is worth using the Better Business Bureau in order to eliminate those companies that are not registered on their database and those that do not have a good rating. It is also worth reading all comments and complaints in order to understand the pros and cons of each company. This will prepare you for your first meeting with them and may give you the upper hand when it comes to negotiating. Make sure you use a reputable company which specializes in buying structured settlements for the best deal possible. Once you have chosen a few well known companies you can apply for quotes from each. There are two possible ways to do this’ many will have online forms to fill in and others will have a customer service helpline. Whichever you use, remember that you should only be asked for your name, address, e-mail id and telephone number. If they ask for any more information, do not continue with your application.
Which quote should I choose?
This is completely up to you! Only you know your financial needs, so asses which quote will best fulfill your needs. The buying company should agree to pay you 80% or more of the agreed price in one lump sum. If it is any lower than this it is best to decline their offer. Remember that it is ok to ask each company to give you a little time while you decide. These companies are obliged to give you a cooling off period to ensure you are 100% committed before accepting their offer. Any buyer who hurries you in to accepting cash for structured settlements is likely to be unscrupulous and should be avoided. This is your decision and your decision only. You are entitled to as much time as you want.
Should I hire a lawyer?
If you are unsure of your agreement it may be best if you hire your own lawyer who specializes in structured settlements. This would allow you to go over the agreement and clarify any issues or concerns, checking that the contract is worded correctly and prepare you for any tax consequences which may occur once you accept the settlement. Fully understanding the transaction will allow you to be in control and prevent and company from taking advantage of you. Once this is done, you can accept the agreement and sit back and wait for the transaction to be completed.
Selling structured settlements has been Mark Long’s area of expertise for over a decade. After a successful career as a financial adviser, he decided to start offering advice for those seeking cash for structured settlements.